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Yorkville

Yorkville is known for upscale shopping, restaurants, and the first five star hotel in Canada. Upscale boutiques include Burberry, Lux Spa, Prada, Teatro Verde, Gucci, MAC Cosmetics, Hugo Boss, Chanel, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Holt Renfrew, Tiffany & Co., Escada, Ermenegildo Zegna, Cartier, Harry Rosen, Calvin Klein, Cole Haan, Vera Wang, Lacoste, Ferrari, Maserati, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Williams-Sonoma, Bang and Olufsen, Betsey Johnson, Max Mara, Montblanc, Bulgari, Birks, Coach, Guerlain, Swarovski, and other upscale designer boutiques. The Holt Renfrew store on Bloor is the luxury retailer's flagship and largest store with 4 floors and various boutiques. Many flagships of other companies are located here as well, such as Harry Rosen, Town Shoes, Lacoste, Gucci, Coach, and Chanel (in which the Canadian flagship became one of the largest in the world.) Browns Shoes opened on Bloor, with merchandise that is much more expensive than at their other boutiques.

 

In recent years, mid-market retailers have also begun to locate along Bloor. In 2005, Winners and La Senza opened stores, later followed by French Connection, Puma, Aldo, Aritzia, Club Monaco, Banana Republic, American Apparel, Roots Canada, Guess, Nike, Zara, Roots, Lululemon, Sephora, Gap and H&M. Discount retailer, Labels 4 Less, recently opened their own store, to the disappointment of many of its neighbours. Nonetheless, Yorkville has been recognized as one of the most luxurious shopping streets in North America, being compared to New York's Fifth Avenue, Chicago's Magnificent Mile, and Los Angeles' Rodeo Drive. Demand is still high on Bloor St., according to real estate firm, Cushman and Wakefield. 5 years ago, retail space rents were $110 per square foot. Although, last year's Cushman and Wakefield report indicate rents of $198 per square foot, their Q407 Toronto Retail Report mentions current deals reaching $300 per square foot, making Bloor St. the third most expensive retail street in North America. This has led to higher rents on Cumberland St. and Yorkville Ave., with several new developments asking $125 per square foot. Expensive Indian fashion boutique INDIVA, which moved to a smaller boutique on Yorkville Ave., claims that the monthly rent at their previous location was $85,000. Many independent retailers struggle to meet these demands, and many in past years have closed or relocated to other streets. However, it is estimated that some retailers pull in more than $2000 per square foot in sales.

 

During the Toronto International Film Festival, Yorkville becomes an excellent place for celebrity-spotting, especially in the Hazelton Lanes shopping complex. Most recently, however, the celebrities once seen during the Toronto International Film Festival have migrated elsewhere and are now most often seen in the entertainment district bars and after-hour clubs near the CITY-TV building. Yorkville still remains the top celebrity hangout in Toronto, and celebrities are seen throughout the year.

 

Luxury hotels in Yorkville include the InterContinental Toronto Yorkville, Four Seasons, the Park Hyatt, the Hazelton Hotel, the Windsor Arms Hotel, the Residence on Bay and the Toronto Marriott Bloor Yorkville Hotel.

 

There are also many offices and professional services. Notable companies/organizations include the Retail Council of Canada, Canada Post, IBM Canada, Alliance Atlantis, Famous Players, Paramount Pictures, Showcase Television, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Unilever and various consulate generals.

 

Famed restaurants Sassafraz, Prego Della Piazza and Vaticano are located in Yorkville. It underwent a full restoration and reopened in September 2007. The MTV Canada headquarters are located in Yorkville as well. Canada's largest museum and the fifth largest in North America, the Royal Ontario Museum is located at the intersection of Bloor and Avenue Rd. The area north of Bloor St. on Cumberland and Yorkville contain petite streets with cafes, restaurants and specialty boutiques. It resembles more of a European style district.

 

Yorkville is also home to some of Toronto's most expensive condominiums, most starting at over one million dollars and going well beyond, including: The Prince Arthur, Renaissance Plaza, 10 Bellair, One St. Thomas, Windsor Arms Hotel, The Hazelton Hotel & Residences, Hazelton Lanes.

 

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